But Mrs. Schnauzer and I have decided we are going to give them a few extra hugs every day. It's the least we can do since they are helping to keep us healthy.
Scientists have known for awhile that there are health benefits to pet ownership, that people who interact regularly with animals are healthier than people who don't.
But now we learn that cats especially seem to have positive effects on health. One study found that cat owners are significantly less likely to die from a heart attack than people who don't own cats.
Interestingly, the study did not find such a protective effect for dog owners.
What is it about cats that cause them to promote good health? Neurologist Adnan Qureshi and others have several theories:
Some suggest that a cat's unique and soothing purring may be the key. Others say it's a matter of the owner's personality, not the cat itself: Cat owners contend that "people who own cats tend to have easy going and accepting personalities because cats don't go by anyone's vision, they do what they want," Qureshi said. Dog owners, on the other hand, tend to be more controlling, and thus prone to unhealthy anxiety, the theory goes.
Maybe it's just that cats don't get too riled up about anything (hat tip to LOL Cats and the "Pooties and Woozles" diaries at Daily Kos):
As you can tell from the title of our blog, we are dog lovers and always will be. In fact, our little corner of cyber space is inspired by Murphy (1993-2004), our wonderful miniature schnauzer who kept us more or less functional during the worst of our legal travails.
One of our big goals in life is to someday have another miniature schnauzer--and maybe a mixed breed. But we sure are thankful to have Baxter and Chloe around.
We like to think we have given them a good home, at a time when they needed one. We have long suspected, though, that they probably do more for us than we do for them. Now it looks like we were right about that.